Vol-au-vent paste is always difficult to make, and should never be attempted by inexperienced housekeepers, if they are expecting company. Practice first before essaying to make others eat your efforts.
Make the Puff Paste as directed (see Puff Paste), and let it stand in a cool place at least six hours. Roll the Paste out very thin, and then line the deep pie pan in which you intend to cook the chicken or meat. Cut around the edge nicely with a knife. Then take another smaller pan, and cover it only half way with the Paste. Cut around the edges, trimming off all strings of dough. Then brush the Paste all around the top with a beaten egg. Put it on a sheet iron or square tin, and set it on the ice till very cold. Then set it in a very hot oven to bake for about half an hour. Do not let it burn or scorch. When done, fill the inside with chicken, pigeon or other meat (already fricasseed) with which you intend to make the Vol-au-Vent, and then cover with the top crust. Fill around the edges with strips of paste left over, and piled one over another for three thicknesses, set in the oven to bake and serve hot.
This is the true Vol-au-Vent Paste, and chicken, pigeons, small birds, veal or meat may be used for filling. But the best Chicken Pie is the old-fashioned one, made by filling the pan with the Pie Crust, baking it, and the edges which you have cut around lightly, then filling in with the chicken and strips of dough between, covering with a thin cover of the Paste, baking brown and serving hot.